“Everyone alive experiences both being and doing. The wind we create by running is the energy of becoming, and the wind that comes to us by stilling ourselves is the energy of being” (Nepo, The Book of Awakening, Oct 6, p. 329)
In the early part of my career and parenting I was focused on achieving, acquiring, proving, supporting, or simply becoming. Our culture and upbringing support and reinforces these behaviors, and it often feels very natural even though it feels like tremendous stress. My spiritual life allowed me a weekly pause of reflection, gratitude and resetting around what was truly important however, it didn’t allow me to create a way to “still myself” in the small daily moments of chaos. I’ve learned that our brains are wired 5:1 for threat vs. reward and we naturally are a humanity of problem solvers. We look for and notice problems, and then feel a sense of relief when we’ve created solutions. It’s no wonder that we have a hard time being still, appreciating what is transpiring right now and appreciate the very moment. Being present, in the moment, or training ourselves to notice what could be positive out of even the most challenging dilemmas seems unattainable or reserved for those who are retired.
So, this whole notion of “Joy, Meaning and Satisfaction” (see video of Arthur C. Brooks and Oprah’s interview at Harvard Business School, below) at first must seem a bit far-fetched to those in a job or career. However, if we take what science tells us about joy and happiness, it starts as an inside job and requires the stilling of ourselves to notice the small micro-wins, teamwork, accomplishment, interactions with colleagues or watching someone on your team being brave.
Why wouldn’t everyone want to start building these neuropathways?
Why aren’t we seeing a revolution of joy and meaning?
Because it’s change and it sometimes feels hard, because the results aren’t instant, our environment and situation may be really challenging right now.
Our brains are doing push-ups to get us back to our old, conditioned responses.
Build your new habits slowly but consistently. Starting with recognizing your own patterns of thinking whenever you are feeling other than positive or neutral. Catch yourself without analyzing, assessing, or judging your thoughts (right or wrong). You may have had a judgment right now as you read this, write it down. Do this for a week or two consistently. What are your insights?
The wind can be felt either way, being or becoming, striving and stillness, planning and presence. Life can be lived in either camp, but the gold is finding the capacity to live in both camps and experience the joy and satisfaction today, in your current circumstance, and not wait until you leave, retire, or go on vacation. My experience is that you will become more effective, responsive, and satisfied when you do. You'll start to become more aware of what you want, and to respond in a way that incorporates your deepest values. Alignment.
If you put this off today, then when?
Message me here or at http://www.guidedleadershipinsights.com if you’d like support on what to do with these thoughts and new habits.